|Publication number||US7151231 B2|
|Application number||US 10/941,983|
|Publication date||Dec 19, 2006|
|Filing date||Sep 16, 2004|
|Priority date||Sep 16, 2004|
|Also published as||US20060054364|
|Publication number||10941983, 941983, US 7151231 B2, US 7151231B2, US-B2-7151231, US7151231 B2, US7151231B2|
|Inventors||Daniel K. Kamakau|
|Original Assignee||Kamakau Daniel K|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Referenced by (21), Classifications (10), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Technical Field
This invention relates to a suitcase and, more particularly, to a combined suitcase and weighing scale.
2. Prior Art
Luggage weight is of keen interest to travelers. Most airlines of today will impose a fee upon travelers whose luggage weight surpasses a predetermined weight, usually set at fifty pounds. Often travelers must pack their luggage only being able to guess what the actual weight of the final piece of luggage will be. This can result in an uncomfortable, embarrassing and time consuming situation when they arrive at the airport and find their luggage to be overweight. Airlines will allow travelers to redistribute their clothes etc. from suitcases that are over the predetermined weight to ones that are under that weight. This process, however, slows down the check-in procedure for all the other individuals behind the person whose luggage is too heavy.
The use of scales are well known in the prior art. It would be advantageous for a traveler to know the weight of their luggage prior to arriving at their point of departure. This can be accomplished by placing the packed suitcases on a conventional scale of the digital type with lighted digital displays showing numbers to a traveler. This procedure would be time consuming however, as the individual performing the packing would constantly have to weigh and re-weigh the suitcase until a desired weight is achieved. It would be much more advantageous, not to mention convenient, to know the weight of the suitcase as it is being filled with luggage.
Accordingly, a need remains for a combined suitcase and weighing scale in order to overcome the above-noted shortcomings. The present invention satisfies such a need by providing a combination suitcase and scale that is convenient, easy to use, and practical in design and function. Such a suitcase advantageously allows an individual to prevent the scenario of having to re-pack their belongings at the airport due to being overweight. The device allows a traveler to have ease of mind about their luggage and will lead to a more enjoyable business trip or vacation.
In view of the foregoing background, it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a combined suitcase and weighing scale. These and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention are provided by a suitcase including a housing having a plurality of sides sized and shaped for defining a cavity therebetween. One such side is formed from rigid material and is removably disposed along a bottom surface of the housing so that a user can conveniently access the cavity therefrom.
A first elongated and flexible handle is included having opposed end portions secured to select ones of the sides. Such a handle has a grip portion disposed medially of the end portions so that a user can readily lift and transport the suitcase between remote locations.
A second flexible handle is disposed subjacent to the first handle and attached to a top of one of the sides. Such a second handle has a length shorter than a length of the first handle.
A mechanism is included for effectively determining a weight of items stored within the suitcase. Such a weight determining mechanism is disposed within the cavity and positioned on one side for receiving the items thereon. The weight determining mechanism preferably includes a scale including a substantially planar top surface for supporting the items thereon.
The suitcase further includes a mechanism for electronically displaying the weight of the items so that a user can advantageously readily identify whether the suitcase is below a predetermined threshold weight limit. Such a displaying mechanism preferably includes an LED display panel including an electrical lead connected to the scale for effectively receiving an input signal corresponding to a cumulative load associated with the items. The display panel may be secured to the housing adjacent to the first handle so that a user can advantageously maintain a clear line of sight of the display panel during operating conditions. Of course, the display panel may be disposed on any other appropriate surface of the suitcase as is well known to persons skilled in the art. An internal power supply source is electrically coupled to the determining mechanism and the displaying mechanism. Such an internal power supply source preferably includes a 9-volt battery.
A plurality of casters are secured to the one side and extend downwardly therefrom for allowing a user to conveniently roll the suitcase along a ground surface. The suitcase may further include a plurality of tabs connected to the cavity for conveniently guiding the electrical lead along a perimeter of the housing.
The novel features believed to be characteristic of this invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
The present invention will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiment set forth herein. Rather, this embodiment is provided so that this application will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the true scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout the figures.
The device of this invention is referred to generally in
Referring initially to
Still referring to
Now referring to
The display panel 61 is secured to the housing 20 adjacent to the first handle 30 so that a user can advantageously maintain a clear line of sight of the display panel 61 during operating conditions. Of course, the display panel 61 may be disposed on any other appropriate surface of the suitcase 10 as is well known to persons skilled in the art. An internal power supply source 70 is electrically coupled to the weight determining mechanism 50 and the displaying mechanism 60 as shown in
While the invention has been described with respect to a certain specific embodiment, it will be appreciated that many modifications and changes may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is intended, therefore, by the appended claims to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
In particular, with respect to the above description, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the present invention may include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation. The assembly and use of the present invention are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art.
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|U.S. Classification||177/126, 190/115, 206/278, 177/245|
|International Classification||G01G19/52, G01G19/58|
|Cooperative Classification||A45C15/00, G01G19/58|
|European Classification||A45C15/00, G01G19/58|
|Mar 5, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 1, 2014||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Dec 19, 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Feb 10, 2015||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20141219